Itailian Dishes To Die For: And are easy to make at home.

Have you ever gone out to dinner and had a dish that you absolutely loved? Have you ever wanted to make that same dish yourself at home? Now, there is no reason why you can’t make it yourself while in the comfort of home sweet home. You no longer have to fear the kitchen, even if you have never made a meal. With these step by step directions, you can make Italian dishes to die for. And are easy to make at home. Put away all of your fears about cooking, and follow these recipes to create some fantastic meals and appetizers that anyone at your table will have a big smile on their faces. Plus you can be proud to say that I made that. You will no longer have to hide the take out packages in the trash bucket.

White Bean And Prosciutto Bruschetta:Fancy Appetizer:

Strips of prosciutto top each toast and are topped in turn with a creamy mound of creamy white beans and sparkling of crisp red onion. If you like, serve these with the bruschetta duet to make a tantalizing trio.

Ingredients:

1) 2 cups of drained and rinsed canned cannelloni beans ( 1 19 ounce can )

2) 1 1/4 teaspoons of wine vinegar

3) 1 tablespoon of olive oil

4) 3/4 teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme, or 1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme

5) 1/2 a teaspoon of salt

6) 1/8 teaspoon of fresh ground Black pepper

7) 2 1/2 teaspoons of fresh chopped parsley

8) 2 ounces of thin sliced prosciutto, fat removed, cut into thin strips

9) Bruschetta

10) 2 tablespoons of minced red onion

To Make; Put the beans in a medium glass, or stainless steel bowl. Using a fork, mash the beans to a coarse puree. Stir in the vinegar, oil, thyme, salt, pepper, and two tablespoons of parsley. Put some of the prosciutto on each of the bruschetta and top with the bean mixture. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of parsley and the red onion over the beans. This is one appetizer that is sure to please any guest at your next dinner party.

I have the perfect pairing for this recipe. White Wine Woodbridge Chardonnay by Robert Mondavi

Pizza With Garlic Cream And Nettles:Healthy Pie:

Nettles grow wild all year in northern California, and chefs Tyler Rodde and Curtis De Fede use them as many ways as they can. Because raw nettles can make you itch, it is best to handle them with gloves or tongs. Once cooked, the nettles lose their sting and have a deep, earthy flavor that’s delicious with garlic cream.

Ingredients:

1) 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

2) 1 or 2 bulbs of green garlic, depending on the size, see, size does matter. Or 3 scallions, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced.

3) 1 tablespoon of dry White Wine

4) 1/4 cup of heavy cream

5) Semolina for dusting

6) Two eight ounce balls of pizza dough

7) 6 ounces of buffalo mozzarella, sliced

8) Salt

9) Fresh ground Black Pepper

10) 4 ounces of nettles

11) 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

12) Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano for serving

To Make; Place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of your oven and preheat to five hundred degrees for thirty minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the butter with one tablespoon of water and bring to a simmer. Add the green garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, about five minutes. Add the White Wine and cook for two minutes. Add the heavy cream and simmer over low heat until reduced by half, about five minutes.

On a semolina dusted work surface, stretch out one of the pieces of dough to a twelve-inch round. Transfer to a semolina dusted pizza peel. Spread half of the garlic cream on the dough, leaving a one-inch border all around. Top with half of the buffalo mozzarella and season with salt, and pepper. In a medium bowl, use tongs or wear gloves to toss the nettles with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mound half of the nettles on the pizza. Turn on the broiler.

Slide the pizza on to the stone on the bottom rack of the oven and broil for about five minutes, until golden brown and bubbling. Transfer the pizza to cutting board and garnish with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano. Repeat steps to make the second pizza.

The same wine that you used in the recipe is also a great wine to serve with this meal Chardonnay by Robert Mondavi

Grilled Eggplant And Tomatoes With Parmesan- Basil Crumbs:Vegitarian Delight:

This perfect grilled vegetarian dish uses bread crumbs to add an extra layer of flavor to a classic Italian dish to die for. Tossed with fresh basil and lots of Parmigiano Riggiano to create a great topping for this grilled veggie meal.

Ingredients:

1) 2 cups of fresh coarse bread crumbs

2) Extra virgin olive oil

3) 1 cup chopped basil

4) 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano Riggiano cheese

5) 3 pounds of eggplant, sliced lengthwise 1/2 an inch thick

6) Salt and freshly ground black pepper

7) 10 tomatoes, sliced 1 inch thick

To Make, Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spread the bread crumbs on a large rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil, toss well. Bake for eight minutes until the bread crumbs are crisp and golden brown. Transfer the bread crumbs to a medium bowl and toss with the basil and cheese.

Light a grill. Brush the eggplant with olive oil and season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Grill over moderate heat until charred and tender, about two minutes per side. Transfer the eggplant to a platter, fanning them out. Brush the tomatoes with oil and season with salt, and pepper. Grill over moderate heat until charred and hot, about one minute per side.

Arrange the tomato slices over the eggplant and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top and serve right away. Does this fill the craving for all you vegetarians?

Italian Sausage Burgers With Garlicky Spinach:Itailian Burgers:

Ingredients:

1) 10 ounces of baby spinach

2) 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

3) 2 garlic cloves

4) 1 teaspoon of anchovy paste ( optional )

5) Salt

6) 4 slices of provolone cheese

7) 1/4 cup of sun dried tomato paste

8) 4 round ciabatta rolls, split and toasted

To Make; In a large skillet, bring 1/4 inch of water to a boil. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until just wilted, about one minute. Drain and press as much water as possible. Wipe out the skillet.

In the same skillet, heat two tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and anchovy paste and cook on high heat, stirring until fragrant, about one minute. Add the spinach, season with salt and pepper stir until coated, about ten seconds.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Using slightly moistened hands, form the sausage meat into four 4- inch patties, about 3/4 inch thick. Brush the burgers with oil and over moderate heat until browned and crusty on the bottom, about five minutes. Carefully flip the burgers. Top with cheese and grill until the burgers are cooked through and the cheese is melted, about five minutes longer. Spread the pesto on the rolls. Top with burgers and spinach and serve.

My choice for a pairing with this meal is Woodbridge Merlot by Robert Mondavi

Make It Your Own:

As with any recipe you are always encouraged to take a recipe and make it your own. Tweak the ingredients, play around and find a way that you can’t live without. Then you can call these Italian dishes to die for your own recipes. And, no one will ever know the difference. I sure as heck are not going to tell anyone that they are not.

Remember to drink responsibly, and never drink and drive. The life you save may very well be your own. Sincerely: John D. Have a blessed day my friends.

Beef It’s Whats For Dinner: Plus my suggestion for pairing.

Normally I give you cocktail recipes, this time I am giving you some recipes for dinner and give you my suggestion for what to drink with these recipes. Beef it’s what’s for dinner. I would really like for you to leave me a comment on how well or how you do not like these recipes. I know that I am trying something different this time around, and I would really like your feedback on this article. Let me know if you want more food recipes, or should I stick to giving you cocktail recipes? You would be doing me a huge favor by letting me know. Don’t worry, you will still be able to get alcohol from this site. After all that is the main purpose for this site. I am just trying something new for this article. Please let me know what you think.

Cuban Beef Casserole With Corn Scallion Biscuit Topping:

Ingredients:Cuban Beef Caserole:

1) 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

2) 1 onion finely chopped

3) 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch dice

4) 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch dice

5) Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

6) 4 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced

7) 4 tomatoes-halved crosswise, seeded and diced

8) 2 teaspoons of ground cumin

9) 2 teaspoons of dried oregano

10) 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon

11) Pinch of ground cloves

12) 1/2 a cup of pitted pimento- stuffed green olives, halved

13) 1/2 a cup of golden raisins

Topping:

1) 1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour

2) 3/4 cup of finely ground cornmeal

3) 2 teaspoons of baking powder

4) 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

5) 2 tablespoons of kosher salt

6) 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

7) 3/4 cup of whole milk, plus more for brushing

8) 1 cup of thinly sliced scallions ( about 6 scallions )

To Make:

Step One; In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, and the red, and green pepper, cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about eight minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and ground beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is browned and most of the liquid is evaporated, about eight minutes. That’s a total of sixteen minutes to complete step one.

Step Two; Add the tomatoes, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, and cloves and cook over moderate heat until the tomatoes just start to soften, about five minutes. Stir in the olives, raisins, and 1/2 cup of water, and season with salt and pepper. Scrape the mixture into a 9-by-13 inch casserole dish.

Step Three; Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, wisk the flour with the cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Using a pastry blender, or two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea- sized pieces remaining. Stir in the 3/4 cup of milk and scallions just until a raggy dough forms.

Step Four; Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead just until comes together. Using your hands, press the dough into a 1/2 inch- thick circles and stamp out three even rounds. Gather the scraps together and press the dough together, and stamp out three more rounds. Arrange the biscuits on top of the meat mixture and brush the top of the biscuits with milk. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the biscuits are risen.

Macaroni And Beef Casserole:Macaroni And Beef:

Ingredients:

1) 1 pound of elbow macaroni

2) 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, plus more for tossing

3) 1 finely chopped onion

4) 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch dice

5) 2 pounds of ground beef

6) 2 teaspoons of ground cumin

7) 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

8) One 15- ounce can of crushed tomatoes

9) 1/2 a cup of chicken stock or low sodium broth

10) 1/2 cup of heavy cream

11) 1/4 cup of chopped parsley

12) 6 ounces of shredded sharp cheddar cheese ( 2 cups )

13) Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

14) 1/3 cup of Panko bread crumbs

15) 3 scallions thinly sliced

To Make:

Step One; Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot of boiling and salted water, cook the macaroni until al Dante. ( Firm to the tooth ) Drain well and transfer the macaroni to a bowl. Add a drizzle of olive oil and toss well.

Step Two; Meanwhile in a large, deep skillet, heat the three tablespoons of olive oil. Add the bell pepper and onion, and cook over moderately high heat, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and cumin and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat is browned and any liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Add the flour and Cook until no floury taste remains. Stir in the tomatoes and stock, and simmer until thickened, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, about 3 minutes.

Step Three; Remove from the heat and stir in the macaroni, cream, parsley and one cup of the cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Step Four; Transfer the mixture into a large ceramic baking dish about 2 inches deep. Sprinkle the remaining cup of cheese and the panko bread crumbs on top. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the casserole is bubbling, and the cheese is melted. Let stand for five minutes. Scatter the scallions on top and serve. Your family is going to love this one. They will be asking for it every week.

Natchitoches- Style Meat Pies:

Ingredients:

1) 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter

2) 1/2 pound of lean ground beef

3) 1/2 pound of ground pork

4) 1/4 pound of chicken livers, trimmed and finely chopped

5) 1 onion finely chopped

6) 1 small green pepper finely chopped

7) 4 large garlic cloves, minced

8) 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

9) 1/2 a teaspoon of ground cloves

10) 1/2 a teaspoon of chopped thyme

11) Salt and freshly ground black pepper

12) 1/4 cup of low- sodium chicken broth

13) 16 empanada wrappers, thawed. Yes you can buy these already made to save some time. Look for the Goya brand in your grocers freezer section.

14) Vegetable oil for frying

15) Ranch dressing mixed with chopped cilantro for serving

To Make;

Step One; In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the beef, pork, and chicken livers and cook over moderate heat, stirring until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, cayenne, cloves and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Tilt the pan and pour off the fat. Add the broth and scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet. Scrape the filling into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, until chilled.

Step Two; Arrange the 8 empanada wrappers on a work surface. Lightly brush the edges of the wrappers with water, and spoon half of the meat filling into the centers. Fold in half, pressing out any air, and seal, crimp the edges with a fork. Transfer the pies to a wax paper- lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

Step Three; Line a baking sheet with paper towels and place a rack on top. In a large, deep skillet, heat 1 1/2 inches of oil to 375 degrees. Fry the meat pies in batches, turning once, until golden brown, about five minutes. Drain on the rack and serve with the ranch dressing. This is a good one to keep on hand in the freezer, makes a great after-school snack.

All Time Favorite Hamburger:Best Burger:

Ingredients:

1) 3/4 pound of ground chuck, about 80 percent lean

2) 3/4 pound of ground sirloin, about 90 percent lean

3) Vegetable oil

4) Salt and freshly ground black pepper

5) 4 Kaiser rolls or hamburger buns, split and toasted

6) Grilled Chile relish

To Make; Light a grill. In a bowl, mix the ground meats and gently form into four- 4 inch patties, about 1 1/2 inches thick. Make a 1/2 inch indentation in the center of each patty, then lightly rub with the oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Hamburger loves salt and pepper. Grill the burgers over high heat turning once, about 6 minutes per side for medium rare. Transfer to the toasted buns, top with relish and serve. To make it a complete meal, serve with a side of french fries, or a potato salad. Beef it’s what’s for dinner, plus my suggestion for a pairing.

Woodbridge Cabernet Merlot by Robert Mondavi This is the perfect red wine to pair with any of these beef dinners, I hope you enjoy.

Have Fun:

I hope that you enjoy and have some fun with these recipes. Remember, please let me know if this direction is a good way to go. Or if I should stick with cocktail recipes.

Remember to drink responsibly and don’t drink and drive, the life you save may very well be your own. Sincerely: Your friend John D. Have a blessed day.